For The Love of Cattle


Going way back as far as I can remember I’ve always been a “farm girl”.  I swear it’s in my DNA, my best memories are almost all of growing up on our farm, out playing and exploring.  

When I was really young I loved going down the hill to the cattle yards and just sitting and visiting with the cattle.  In the second yard there’s a slab of cement outside the east side of the auger shed that I would sit and let my feet dangle into the yard, I could just sit for ages it would seem.  Often the cattle would get so used to me that the occasional head would eventually let me pet them.

I remember being in high school, being heart broken over one of Kirk and my breakups and going down behind that shed and sitting with the cattle.  Crying and smoking.  

Often I’d walk out to the far yards and walk the cement feed yard bunks, sit in the bunks and visit with the cattle.  More often then not they’d get so used to me that they wouldn’t run off when I’d walk out to visit.


When we were young and the occasional feedlot calf would be born dad would give one of Brother and the next would be Sister and mine.  Brother’s always survived, Sister and I always would up killing ours off in no time.  Apparently if you leave the milk jugs down in the pen and only bring it to the house hours later to rinse out and fill again, calves will get sick and die.  Wonder why mom and dad were always chewing Sister and I out about our way of feeding our calves.  


We had two lots of cattle that were fed via auger, with silage and corn from the two blue upright silos.  I loved going down to the auger shed to help feed. Usually I’d go sit out on the slab to watch the cattle come up to eat, sometimes dad would let me push the big buttons running the silage and corn out of the silos or to run the augers.  He’d always let me help sweep.  

When we were feeding at the shed, if dad was in the right mood, he’d humor me with his made up “Indian Rain Dance”!  On occasion we can still get him to do it, it’s a rare treat!  The far yards were fed with the tractor and feed wagon.  I was in the 3rd or 4th grade when dad out let me stand in front of the seat, between his legs, and run the steering wheel.  In time he let me run the throttle, then the PTO to start the wagon.  When I was younger I’d walk the bunks before him and throw out anything that wasn’t feed in the bunks, eventually I got good enough for dad to walk the bunks while I fed. That had to have been the best part!  I was never allowed to run the loader tractor and fill the wagon though.  


When I was really little we had some feeder pigs.  They were kept out in a pen in the middle of the field on the south side of the road.  My cousin Britton and I would ask if we could walk out to see the pigs.  The folks would say yes but we were to stay along the grass water way and stay our of the corn or we’d get lost and never be found and to stay out of the pig yard, pigs would bite and we could get hurt and we would be too far away for anyone to hear us scream.

Britton and I were younger than 10, we were no longer feeding pigs by that time.  No idea how our parents could let us go unattended and just trust us being we were so young.  Way before cell phones!  

Britton and I would head out, walking in the grass water way as we were told, and we’d fiddle around in the corn field, don’t remember ever not being able to find our way out again with ease.  We’d get out to the pen, climb through the barb wire fence, we’d climb onto the huts and play, we’d go into the huts with the pigs.  They must have realized we were really stupid, never had one take us, as memory serves.


Growing up, it was normal for us to decide to go out for awhile and just walk around the fence line around either of the fields at the home place.  We’d be gone for hours, no phone, no radio, just walking in the silence and peace of the day.    Our folks were not helicopter parents.  Don’t recall a time anyone ever came out looking for us.  Can you imagine how many kids would do that of their own free will now and to leave all the gadgets at the house?  Times have most definitely changed.  


Monday 31. October 2016

Another Halloween come and gone, this year we had no trick or treating, no pumpkins…just another day of the year.  Didn’t miss not doing the trick or treat thing, it’s something Leo never did like to do, so we haven’t done that around this house in years.  Did really miss not getting the pumpkin patch put in this year, next year hopefully we’ll get our asses in gear early enough in the season to get the new garden plot tilled up before the wet season begins.  There are few things I enjoy more in life than watching the pumpkins, gourds, ect., come to life as the months creep past.

Had a productive day today, getting my energy level back up as I’m starting to feel better.  Did some baking, some laundry…rode out with Bubba to put salt blocks out to the far yards at my folks’ when picking Bubba up after school.  It had been years since I’d walked the ol’ feedline bunks…memories came flooding back.  Visited with dad and Bubba while they unloaded bags of feed, salt and mineral blocks from dad’s pickup before heading south.  Beautiful fall day to just spend some time outside and do some remembering!

Bubba and I did head down to Hornick to The Godfather and Aunt Kathy’s to drop a treat off for Aunt Kathy for Halloween.  He usually gets the treats, this time we treated her!  When we were in Mitchell, SD at The Corn Palace a couple months ago she picked up some candy corn salt water taffy and loved it and has been after Kirk to stop and get her more on one of his drives through Mitchell for work…he keeps forgetting, so I ordered her some and we got it in the mail today.  Not many things are more fun than to do a little something like that for someone you care for and see their eyes light up!  It’s the little things in life!

Two of Kirk’s younger cousins were down visiting at their grandparents, so we had supper with the family, showed the one cousin the pictures we took a month ago for his senior pictures, met the girlfriend, Leo played basketball with the other cousin.  We tried to get Leo to go trick or treating with Leah, but he wasn’t thinking that sounded like fun.  She’s only maybe two years younger than Leo, they are second cousins…told him they could go as cousins…he didn’t get the humor.  Funny is something that I’ve not been often described as.

Had a really nice couple hour visit with the aunt and uncle.  We talked about the uncle who passed away in May, his headstone was installed last week…about family and how we’ve all changed since Uncle Jay was first diagnosed with cancer a little over a year ago.  We laughed, we teared up…had a really great night!  

As we went to leave Bubba said he was going to jog the 1/4 mile or so to the highway…had to take a shot and laugh…he’s jogging down a long driveway, between two just harvested cornfields, after dark, on Halloween…less than a mile from The Children of The Corn house!  You couldn’t have paid me enough!  Got to love him!

Love and Peace!

I remember…

I remember going on walks with my mother through the alfalfa field, oh how I hated it, the taller the alfalfa, the harder it was on my little legs.  

I remember taking off on walks around the fields on either side of the highway, no ipod, no phone, just myself to entertain myself.  I’d walk for a couple hours, walking through the corn, down the grass waterways, along the fence line and through the oats and alfalfa.

I remember going for runs from one side of our property, up to the feedlots and up and down the drive.  I’d stop to sit in the fence line feed bunks and talk to the cattle. 

I remember hitching up the little wagon to the back of our Ford riding lawnmower and packing up a lunch and blankets and pillows and driving around the farm with my little cousin.

I remember climbing the tree house my brother built, just sitting and looking out into the great beyond.

I remember my cousin and I setting up courses around the yard, using logs and whatever else that sparked our imaginations, to use at hurdles and just running and jumping and running.

I remember using the stacked wooden feed bunks as a secret hide away.

I remember sitting in the cab tractor and pretending I was farming and pretending to talk on the CB.

I remember playing house in the auger shed.

I remember playing in the old corn crib that we were told not to go into because of rabid coons and never seeing one and never telling mom or dad we’d been there.

I remember swimming in a horse tank.

I remember putting on my tap shoes and dancing on the front porch with my younger cousin.

I remember climbing up on the big round hay bales and running from one end to the other and climbing as high as I dared. 

I remember walking down to the stop sign on our blacktop road with my sister when there was nothing else to do.

I remember sitting on the back of the pickup at noon, peeling fresh sweet corn before dinner with my dad and my brother and my sister for my mom to boil fresh!

I remember so much…so many wonder, beautiful memories of a beloved childhood.